Best Types of Brake Pads for Your Car
When it comes to driving your car, there are several factors that go into allowing you to successfully move and brake accordingly when necessary. While driving is the primary function of basically all cars, it’s very important to maintain a properly functioning brake system if you plan on staying safe while out on the road.
When it comes to your brake system, there are a lot of different components and factors that play a part in how well your braking system works. Most modern cars come with a disc brake system that uses several components such as rotors, brake calipers, and brake pads in order to provide enough stopping power for your vehicle.
Depending on the make and model of your vehicle, certain brake pads will be better suited for your car then when compared to others, in order to find the best brake pads for your car, you need to understand how brake pads work and the various different types of them which are out on the market currently.
My Top Pick: Akebono ProACT Ultra-Premium Brake Pad Set Price: $43.99 Our top recommendation is the Akebono ACT787 Ceramic Brake Pad Set because it's virtually for every vehicle and it helps enhance the performance of your brake rotor!
Every brake pad is made using different materials and structures which work to provide you with an immense amount of power to enable you to enact proper braking function when you engage the brake pedal in your vehicle. Over time, your brake pads may begin to wear down due to consistent use and driving and the rate of material corrosion will be accelerated depending on how hard you enact your braking system and how often you use your brakes.
One of the tell-tale signs that you need new brake pads is a squealing or squeaky noise when you begin to enact your braking system. If you notice a lot of noise in your braking system when you begin to enact your brakes, it is time for you to replace them.
Failing to replace your brake pads can put your life in serious danger especially if you plan to continue driving your car on the brake pads that are going out. That’s why you should regularly check the condition and working functionality of your brake pads to ensure that they are running at optimal performance.
Your brake pads are generally located right on the brake caliper of your wheel which you’ll be able to see through the rim pattern of your wheels. Brake pads have a chemical coating on them which becomes worn down over time with excessive use, if you check your brake pads and notice that the chemical lining is beginning to fade away, that means that it’s time for you to get some new brakes.
Before going out to purchase a new set of brake pads, it’s important to know about all of the various types out there and how each variety works to provide your car with specialized braking performance according to your driving habits and vehicle. Given all of the factors you have to consider when buying new brake pads, it can become overwhelming trying to find the right fit for your particular vehicle. If you need new brake pads but don’t know where to start, you’ve come to the right place.
In this guide, we’re going to go over all of the various brake pad types out there for you to choose from so that you can be confident that you’re making the right decision on which pair of brake pads is right for your vehicle and driving style.
How Do Brake Pads Work?
Before we get into the various types of brake pads out there on the market, you should probably understand exactly how brake pads work. Most cars manufactured today use disc brake systems that engage both a disc plate and brake pads in order to enact proper braking function. The basic design of your vehicle’s braking system consists of a brake rotor, a caliper, and brake pads on both sides of the mechanisms.
The brake rotor is the circular piece of metal that you see sitting between the caliper of your brakes which is the unit essentially holding the rotor in place. When you apply your brakes, the calipers activate each brake pad which provides a squeezing motion that translates into the complete halt of rotation that your wheels experience when braking.
Typically, your vehicle will have two sets of pads on each set of wheels that your car has. Most brake rotors require two sets of brake pads in order to work correctly however this factoring can still vary depending on the make and model of your vehicle.
Now that you know a little bit more about exactly how braking systems work, it’s time to look at the different brake pad varieties that are out there for you to choose from. Click this link to read more about how brake pads work and how they help maintain your safety while out on the road.
Types of Brake Pads
To begin deciding on which brake pads are best for your vehicle, you need to know about all of the various types of brake pads that are out on the market. Every brake pad variety is made using different mechanisms and materials which all affect its functionality and effectiveness at helping you bring your car to a complete stop from the driving position.
Depending on the make and model of your vehicle, certain brake pad types will be better suited for you than others which is why it’s important that you take this factor into consideration before making a final decision about which brake pad type is best for your vehicle and intended use. The type of brake pad that you choose to install will play a major role in how successful you’ll be at being able to stop your car in the event of an emergency situation.
Below, we’re going to go over all of the most commonly used and popular types of brake pad options available that many people use on their vehicles. Keep in mind, the best type of brake pads for your car will all depend on the model, year, make, tire size and various others factors so always make sure you’re selecting compatible brake pads when installing or replacing them on your vehicle.
Ceramic brake pads as their name implies are made mainly out of ceramic fibers and other materials. Ceramic brake pads contain very small amounts of metal and also use a lot of bonding agents in order to produce the stopping power required to take your vehicle from forwarding motion to a complete stop.
The reason that a lot of people decide to use ceramic brake pads instead of other materially composed brake pads is that they tend to produce a lot less noise than when compared to traditional metal brake pads. Ceramic brake pads are also known to wear down at a much slower rate when compared to traditional brake pads which are also another reason why many people choose to use them on their vehicle.
Ceramic brake pads also create less dust residue which can aid in reducing the potential rate of malfunction with your braking system. One of the main reasons why you won’t find ceramic brake pads on a lot of is because they are often times very pricy which is why they are reserved for higher class customers.
Low-metallic brake pads are designed to utilize as minimal metal materials as possible. Often times, low-metallic brake pads are made up of about 70-80% of organic materials with about 20-30% of metal which helps to reduce the onset of material decay within the braking system itself over time when exposed to constant usage.
Commonly, you will find many low-metallic brake pads that are made of mixtures of copper or steel because these metals are very resistant to corrosions and wear even when exposed to high temperatures and consistent use. Low-metallic brake is known to produce a lot of noise when the braking function is enacted and they also produce a considerable amount of brake dust however they are known for being able to transfer heat very well and have a lot of power when it comes to successfully stopping your car.
Non-Asbestos Organic brake pads are made up of several different components and materials all of which work together to provide you with the braking power that you need and expect. Non-Asbestos Organic brake pads use various fibers, fillers, and high-temperature resistant resins in order to deliver fast and quite braking power.
The thing about non-asbestos organic brake pads is that they tend to deteriorate very quickly and are generally softer than a lot of the common brake pad options out there. Non-asbestos organic brake pads are also known for creating much more brake dust which is why they are not the preferred option for many people.
Semi-metallic brake pads are known for their durability and long-lasting performance. Semi-metallic brake pads are some of the most common types of brake pads that you’ll find on many vehicles available on the market. Semi-metallic brake pads are known for their ability to transfer heat seamlessly in addition to providing very high levels of friction for almost instant braking power in virtually any situation.
Semi-metallic brake pads are composed of about 30-65% metal materials and can make a lot of loud noises when engaged. While semi-metallic brake pads themselves last longer than most other brake pad options out on the market, they are known for wearing down your brake rotors much quicker than most other brake pad options out there.
Now, we’re going to take a look at some of the main features and factors that you should pay attention to when beginning your search for the perfect pair of brake pads for your vehicle.
Key Factors to Look for When Choosing the Right Brake Pads for Your Vehicle
Before choosing which brake pads are right for your vehicle, you need to take several different factors into consideration. It’s important to find the right brake pads that are fully compatible with your vehicle if you plan on using your selected brake pads for an extended period of time.
By ensuring that your selected brake pads meet all of the requirements and specifications listed below, you’ll be able to ensure that you will maintain a safe and properly working vehicle for you and your entire family. Make sure that you read the entire following section in full to make sure that you understand all of the various factors that go into choosing the right brake pads for your specific car make and model.
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Like previously mentioned, the type of material that your brake pads are made out of will have a significant impact on their overall stopping power and capabilities in general. Given the various material selections to choose from out there, it’s important to know about which brake pad type will provide the most benefit for your vehicle.
Some things to take into consideration when choosing which brake pad material will provide you with the most benefits is the gas mileage of your vehicle, it’s overall power, and wheel set-up. All of these factors will help you determine which brake pad material will provide you with the most braking power and capabilities under virtually all conditions. This is a really important factor to consider when choosing the right brake pads for your vehicle so always take this into consideration before making a final purchase decision about which brake pad type is right for your car.
While the installation process for mostly all brake pad types will virtually be the same, it can vary depending on the type of brake pad option that you select. Everyone can replace or install new brake pads on their own car if they want to however if you want to be safe, you can always contact a professional mechanic to assist you. if you plan on installing your own brake pads, it’s important for you to look for brake pad kits which come with all of the required tools and equipment needed in order to successfully install your brake pads.
If you decide to install your own brake pads, the installation kit should come with all of the tools you need such as lubricant and other essential components. You always want to make sure that any brake pad installation kit you buy comes with clear instruction so that you know exactly how to approach installing your new brake pads. Always consider the installation process and method required for your selected brake pads so that you can make sure that you’ll be able to install your new brake pads successfully or at least know where to begin looking for the right assistance that you need.
Every brake pad option out on the market comes at different prices and overall costs, this is an important factor to consider when choosing which brake pad choice will be best for you. you want to get the best quality brake pads for your money meaning that they will last for a long time after initial installation to provide you with prolonged braking power and protection while out traversing the roads.
Because you want your brake pads to last a really long time, you generally want to avoid the cheapest option at all costs. The price of your brake pads is often directly related to the materials used in the manufacturing process of your chosen brake pads. That means that the more money you pay upfront, the better-quality brake pads that you’ll typically get. Even when brake pads are expensive, you still want to make sure that you only purchase brake pads from trusted companies and reliable service providers.
You should also check the standard warranty on any brake pad selection that you’re interested in before finalizing your purchase in addition to reading the entire feature list and capabilities of your desired brake pads to ensure that they will be able to provide your vehicle with the necessary amount of power and stopping ability that it needs.
Read this write-up on our website about how you should approach buying new brake pads for your vehicle so that you can ensure you’re making the right decision about which brake pads are right for your particular vehicle make and model.
Now that we’ve covered all of the essential factors you need to look for when buying new brake pads, let’s look at some of the key signs you can monitor in order to tell if your brake pads need to be replaced or not.
How do I know when my brake pads need to be replaced or changed?
When it comes to deciding on whether your brake pads need to be replaced, there are several obvious factors which will let you know that it’s time to change your brake pads without much effort required on your part. As time goes on, your brake pads will begin to naturally deteriorate, when this begins to happen, you’ll notice some obvious signs that you can use to gauge the overall condition of your brake pads to make the final decision about whether or not you need to replace them.
Below, we’re going to go over all of the various signs that you can look for in order to help you determine if it’s time to install new brake pads on your vehicle.
Brake stutters or Jitters when stopping
When your brake pads begin to lose their stopping power and material thickness, they will often time begin to cause jitters or vibrations in your braking mechanism which can be felt throughout your entire vehicle. If you notice a pronounced vibration or jolt that is felt throughout your wheel when stopping, that a clear indication that it’s time for you to replace your brake pads.
Screeching Noises or Metal Scraping
One of the most common signs that your brake pads need to be replaced is a loud screeching or scratching sound that you’ll be able to notice every time you engage your brake system. This sound is caused by the bare and raw metal which has been exposed over consistent use of your brake pad system rubbing directly against your brake rotors.
If you’ve ever been at a stop light and hear a loud squealing noise when someone is coming behind you to break, this is likely because their brake pads have become severely worn out and are now on the brink of completely malfunctioning. Very loud squealing noises and sounds when attempting to break are the most serious sign that your brake pads need to be replaced to always pay attention to this if you’re noticing a decline in performance with your braking system.
You may also hear a clicking noise every time you begin to enact your braking system which is another tell-tale sign that your brake pads need to be replaced or changed as soon as possible. Loud grinding noises are also another very easy sign to look for when determining whether or not your brake pads need to be replaced.
Brake Sensor Warning
Many newer model cars have built-in brake sensors which will come on to alter you of any issues with your brake pads or braking system. When you see your brake sensor light illuminate on your dashboard, it’s time for you to consider replacing your brake pads and for extra safety measures, you should also consider going to get your brakes inspected by a local mechanic or car repair shop.
Car Steering Is Misaligned
One of the most obvious signs that you need to replace your brakes is if you begin to notice your car steering pulling to one side of the road more than another while in motion. For example, if you’re driving and always have to correct your wheel slightly right, that means that your tires and wheels are pulling to the left. This can often time be caused by poorly performing brakes or brake pads so if you notice that your vehicle’s steering is off, replacing your brake pads is also something you’ll want to consider.
Check out this article to learn more about some of the various signs and factors you can pay attention to when trying to figure out whether or not you need to replace your brake pads.
Top Brake Pad Recommendations
Now that we’ve covered all of the essential factors you need to keep in mind when deciding whether or not it’s time for you to replace your existing brake pads, we’re going to go in-depth about some of our top recommended brake pad options that you can choose from in order to provide your car with optimal braking performance and reliability.
Keep in mind that all of the brake pad recommendations listed below come in various material compositions and design types which is why you’ll want to pay attention to ensure that you’re making the right decision about which brake pads are right for your vehicle.
1. Akebono ProACT Brake Pads
The Akebono ProACT Brake Pads (check out our full Akebono brake pads review!) are a set of ceramic brake pads that are designed for virtually every consumer vehicle currently available for purchase on the market. The pads are formulated to provide you with an increase in brake rotor performance and overall lifespan when it comes to the total duration that your brake pads last after installation.
The Akebono ProACT Brake Pads are an OEM quality part that does not compromise on any of the important safety, and functionality aspects you need. The pads come with an integrated wear indicator on the brake pads themselves which helps you keep track of the overall condition of your brake pads without putting in too much extra thought or time. The Akebono ProACT Brake Pads are the perfect brake pad solution for those who want a comprehensive brake pad that is great for all vehicles and occasions. Price: $214.00 (approx.)
My Top Pick: Akebono ProACT Ultra-Premium Brake Pad Set Price: $43.99 Our top recommendation is the Akebono ACT787 Ceramic Brake Pad Set because it's virtually for every vehicle and it helps enhance the performance of your brake rotor!
2. Power Stop Z36 Towing Brake Pads
The Power Stop Z36 Towing Brake Pads are designed for those people that consistently tow large vehicles or loads that weigh a lot. The brake pads provide a lot more braking ability than standard brake pads due to their increase brake torque design which helps you bring your vehicle to a complete stop much faster than traditional brakes.
The Power Stop Z36 Towing Brake Pads also use a low dust formula and quiet operation in order to provide you with reliable braking power and performance that doesn’t get in the way. The Power Stop Z36 Towing Brake Pads are thermally stable and provide safe braking efficiency to anyone who owns a vehicle with a heavier weight than most cars. Price: $76.58
3. EBC Brakes 7000 Series Truck Brake Pads
The EBC Brakes 7000 Series Truck Brake Pads give off very low amounts of brake dust and are made using very heavy-duty construction techniques to ensure that they last a long time. The break pads are completely organic brake pads that feature a triple layered wolverine shim which acts as an extra layer of friction in order to give your vehicle more stopping power and ability.
The EBC Brakes 7000 Series Truck Brake Pads come with silent braking capabilities and are also covered under a limited lifetime warranty from EBC. The Break Pads are an OEM brake pad replacement option that you can choose in order to feel safe and confident about the decision you make when it comes to what brake pads are right for your vehicle. The EBC Brakes 7000 Series Truck Brake Pads were created with heavier model trucks in mind so if you have a larger vehicle, these are the right brake pads for you. Price: $145.85
The ACDelco 171-1010 Performance Brake Pads are a great pair of brake pads for those who want reliable braking performance on a budget. The break pads are an OEM replacement standard for brake pads which makes them a very reliable and trustworthy option.
They are recommended for GM vehicles and are designed to be easily replaced so that you don’t have to worry about using specialized tools or equipment to remove your old brake pads. The break pads are created to provide you with sustained braking performance without causing excess noise, the harshness of motion, or vibration.
The ACDelco 171-1010 Performance Brake Pads come with a premium build quality and have bond integrity for all integrally molded parts. The ACDelco 171-1010 Performance Brake Pads are a great option for anyone looking for high-quality brake pad replacements at an affordable cost. Price: $587.92
Read this article on our website to learn a little bit more about the various types of brake pad options out there.
FAQ’s About Brake Pads
If you have noticed that there is a weird smell in your car, similar to burned hair, this usually means that there is an issue with your brake pads and that are worn out and ready to be replaced.
The longevity of the brake pads depends on the way you are driving your car and on the type of brake pads you are using. So yes, while some pads last 30 000 miles, others can go up to 100 000 miles.
If you want to keep your car in the best possible condition, putting new pads on an already grooved rotor will just wear them sooner.
This is really a tough decision as both are an excellent choice. The ceramic brake pads are quieter and perfect if you just live in a warmer climate and make long rides in a day, whilst semi-metallic ones are intended for shorter rides.
Use all of the information in this article to help you locate the correct brake pad replacements for your particular vehicle. There are a lot of factors to consider and look out for when replacing your brake pads which is why you should go through each section of this article very carefully to ensure you’re extracting the correct information.
Go through and check off all of the must-haves that we have mentioned in this guide to ensure that you’re getting the best deal on your chosen set of brake pads. You never want to let your brake pads decay too much because if so, they can put your life in serious danger or jeopardy. Always pay attention to any signs that your brake pads may be going out in order to prevent any accidents while on the road. As long as you follow all of these steps, you should have no problem finding the right brake pads for your vehicle.